By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– If you pay attention to the game of Volleyball, you’ve probably heard things along the way of ‘first to five’ ‘let’s get to ten’ and so on and so forth.
As Dallas wrapped up their first week of practice, their first practice as a team following the completion of try-outs on Thursday morning, the Dragons were holding an intrasquad scrimmage about taking three of the first five points. Mentally preparing to battle for that early advantage, breaking the game down to increments of five instead of focusing on being the first to 25 points.
“Yeah, you definitely don’t want the other team to get a lead because it’s hard to make that up. We always try to work on the small game, first to five and then ‘ok we got that’ now go for ten and keep building after that,” Kaitlyn Van Well said.
Van Well is one of the seven returners from this past Springs 5-7 season where Dallas went 4-2 in the Mid-Willamette Conference as a relatively inexperienced team. Going up against the Salem-Keizer 6A schools had helped, along with their MWC Counterparts, they picked up a good chunk of experience in preparation of this upcoming Fall season.
“Even though it was a weird year, we’re happy that we got a little bit of a season to get in a little bit of experience. It was a good chance for them to see high-level volleyball, we played a lot of volleyball that wasn’t in our conference. A lot of 6A teams and that experience is perfect, it’s what we needed as we head into our actual real season where we’re trying to make it to playoffs, make it into the State Tournament,” Head Coach Kayce Lilley said.
Lilley mentioned it feels like they’ve had a lot of time to settle-in, work and prepare before they open the season with the Panthers in Dallas here in two weeks.
It was a slightly normal off-season; they held camp and had a scrimmage with Cascade earlier this Summer before they entered try-outs. Returning girls like Olivia Hale, Grace Hannan, Jordyn Wynia, Hannah Callaway and Emma Spivey enter game week Monday with them hosting the MWC Thursday and officially kick-off with their first game of the year September 2 against Central.
“The jamboree is great; we get to see teams that we don’t really know who they’re returning or how they’ll look. It’s a good chance to try different line-ups and stuff, we’re not too worried too much about our record at the jamboree, it’s a good chance to see some real competition instead of ourselves,” Lilley said of the jamboree.
“It’ll be a great chance for us to see those things. We have a lot of time before our first league game. So, we definitely want to sharpen things up before we get there, but I think where we’re at right now and the time that we have, we’ll be ready to go.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald